"I like that SMART is strengths-based, harm-minimising and let's people decide when they're ready to do the work towards making a change. It's practical and a really important part of the jigsaw of letting people do what they need to do to get ready to milk life for all that it's worth.
I love working with switched on people who really want to make a difference. The intensity of it is also a bit like speed dating. In the beginning, everyone is a stranger to each other, reticent and a bit shy. After two days of training, that's no longer ever the case. People are endlessly surprising."
Angela Argent (PhD) has worked within the NGO and University sectors for twenty years. She was Project Coordinator for Community Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Research Network (CMHDARN), a partnership project between the Network of Alcohol and other Drugs (NADA), Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) and the Mental Health Commission of NSW. She was Executive Officer at Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service Network, Senior Policy Officer for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Student Equity Officer at UNSW and Senior Research/Policy Officer at Schizophrenia Fellowship, Mental Health Coordinating Council, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability and NSW Aboriginal Land Council.
Angela studied Psychology and Arts (B.A Hons. 1st Class) at Sydney University and completed a doctorate in the School of Historical and Gender Studies at Monash University, Melbourne. She taught for ten years at Monash and Sydney and was Honorary Research Associate at Sydney University while living and working in the Czech Republic from 2006 – 2011.
"I was a country kid and always hoped to catch up and speak at the same pace as everyone else. These days i'm comfortable in my own skin and understand that people are really invested in just getting through their own day. I've always preferred working creatively, with words and ideas, and working with SMART let's me do this on a daily basis. After work, when the teenagers are asleep, I write fiction, where I get to literally walk around in other people's shoes and see the world from a different point of view for an hour or two of every day."